Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And he bravely ran away

Not too surprisingly, Alaska state representative Mike Doogan's decision to out the identity of AKMuckraker has resulted in some fallout - much of it deservedly unfavorable. There's a reason why I have a vested interest in this particular story. You see, although at the moment I seem to be the sole blogger at Notes From Underground, a few years ago I gave the keys to the place to three other individuals who have at various times used pseudonyms, and continue to extend an open invitation to them to post here whenever they wish. In the case of our emeritus blogger, Ductape Fatwa, I seriously doubt if anyone knew his real name, nor did it ever occur to me that it would even matter. What all three of these individuals offer is a shared commitment to human rights and unique angles and experiences that have in the past helped fill a void (and hopefully will continue in the future). If I had ever caught wind that a public official - whether local, state, or national - had dared to out one of these individuals, I would have been horrified and outraged. It is my policy that anyone who blogs here controls the extent to which they identify themselves. There are often good reasons to want to write under a pseudonym or anonymously, and that should be respected. There is also a long-standing tradition of pamphlet writers using pen names and such to get their ideas across - especially ideas that might be considered "dangerous" to the powers that be. We bloggers are the heirs apparent of that tradition (I used to say the same about those of us who contributed written and artistic material to zines a couple decades back). An old college friend was fond of saying that ultimately it didn't matter who says it, but that it simply gets said - the ideas are more important than the identity of their authors.

With that preface out of the way, I am noticing that one of Alaska's bloggers, Shannyn Moore, recently tried to confront Mike Doogan about his misdeed, and the same politician who's come across as confrontational and cavalier regarding his behavior and its consequences did what seems quite typical: he hid in a restroom stall. I kid you not. Apparently there's more to the story, but we'll have to wait until Shannyn is ready to say more. In the meantime, I'm if he's answering his emails much these days - he sure hasn't answered mine yet. Somehow, I'm guessing that he's hoping that if he avoids the damage he caused, it will somehow just go away.

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